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My G-Grandmother's 1890's cloth doll

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Solved mystery items870 of 4237unusual silver gelatin real photograph, signed and dated 1925Glass Figurine to ID
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Posted 9 months ago

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Rockhoundn…
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I received this doll at a recent family reunion in Northern PA. This doll belonged to my G-Grandmother who was born in 1885. She called him George, I do not know if this was "his name" or just what she called him. He is 17". His hair appears to be wool sewn on. No marks found. His eyes are cut blue glass pieces or beads. Only faults is stocking coming apart on right leg. I would love to know his worth, manufacturer or anything thing at all. I have not had any luck so far. Thanks for looking!

Mystery Solved

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  1. Manikin Manikin, 9 months ago
    Hi
    Your doll appears to be through the years altered so it is very hard to say what he originally looked like . The Caracul wig is lambs wool . He is a molded cloth face doll . The face has appearance of being touched up or it was homemade . The wig may have came off another doll as I see the hand sewing attaching it and usually they were just glued on . The white part of his body is newer than arms . He is precious as a heirloom ,but she is either homemade or like I said altered to much to identify her by any maker . I would date her much later than 1870. Your Grandmother may have got her when she was older . Wish I could tell you more but for now she is a Molded cloth painted face doll with lambs wool wig . He is a cute little fellow and I am sure was loved a lot and had to get repaired from time to time through his years .
  2. Manikin Manikin, 9 months ago
    PS the eyes look like buttons is the blue around pupil hard ?
  3. Rockhoundngal, 9 months ago
    Hi,
    The eyes are cut glass, like diamonds. All the blue is the same. The pupils are larger than the the cut glass around the pupils. They are all "hard" like glass.
  4. Manikin Manikin, 9 months ago
    Thank you Rock for replying so fast :-) I love that . The eyes are not original to him or were replaced . They never made eyes like that . He may have once had painted on eyes that got washed off and were replaced with fancy button eyes maybe off a fancy dress or womans suit . He is unique that's for sure :-) But leaning toward what I said in beginning he has been altered or they fixed him up a bit and gave him a new lower body . At any rate he is wonderful as he is . The wig also appears homemade from lambs wool. They did use lambs wool for dolls early mostly on French Fashion dolls and it was very high quality and on expensive dolls . Caracul wigs which they are called came back to being popular in the 1950's again on many dolls .
  5. Rockhoundngal, 9 months ago
    With all respect, I think if you were to see this doll in person you would have a different opinion about it being altered. This doll appears to be completely original. I can see what you are saying about the hair but I am still not convinced. I believe the body and the face and arms are contemporary, the eyes and face original. I am a professional quilter and sewer, I believe all his seams to be consistent, nothing added on or changed about the body. Thank you for your interest.
  6. Manikin Manikin, 9 months ago
    Maybe if I could hold it I would see what your seeing I agree with that. It is always hard when we can't touch it and just a photo . I did quilting for years also . The arms are not made same as body and the white material is not to my eyes as old as doll. The eyes may well be original to doll if it was homemade or by a cottage industry :-) I guess he will remain a mystery since I know of no dolls produced that had those eyes factory . I love him at any rate :- )
  7. Rockhoundngal, 9 months ago
    The arms are painted while the body is not, this may account for the difference in color, they also show minor signs of wear from being exposed. The cloth that covers and makes up the face is the same piece of cloth that makes up the body, there is no seam around the neck... only a line where the paint ends. Interesting about the eyes. There is very faint evidence of painted on eyelashes. I suppose the glass eyes could be an easy add on. Upon further inspection, the hair is stitched together in pieces but as a whole it is glued to the doll not sewn to the doll. Thanks so much for all your input! I suppose you are right, we may never know and he's not talking :)
  8. Manikin Manikin, 9 months ago
    He is what I would call a wonderful primitive doll . Many collectors for them . I have had a few myself . I just had a 2nd opinion by a leading doll expert across US . He says also homemade but wonderful :-) Thank you so much for sharing this happy little soul :-)

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